John Carrona - BSOD analyst

I have the Knack: sound byte here

Canned2 RSS Feed Subscribe to the RSS feed Last updated:  28 Jun 2012
Modified the Safely Remove Drivers canned speech

Table of Contents:
Hardware Stripdown
Driver Verifier
BSOD hardware analysis canned speech about causes
Safely Remove Drivers
AMD OverDrive Removal - Step 1
AMD OverDrive Removal - Step 2
Asus M4 motherboards (memory issues)
Asus P5 motherboards (memory issues)
Clean Boot links by OS
Daemon Tools (Alcohol %) Removal
Don't Overclock canned speech
Install Service Packs (incl links for 7 and Vista)
SSD Issues/Suggestions
Wireless USB BSOD caution

Prime95 suggestions for testing:  (too much info for this page)

Troubleshooting by Hardware Stripdown: (too much info for this page)

Driver Verifier canned speech:

BSOD hardware analysis explanation:
I ran xx memory dumps - generated from 02 Jan 2012 to 05 Feb 2012 (xx days)
There were x different BSOD error codes cited
and x different causes blamed

This is most likely a hardware error. They (hardware errors) are usually caused by one of these things:
- borked (broken) hardware (several different procedures used to isolate the problem device)
- overclocking - You'll know if you're overclocking or not. If uncertain we can suggest things to check.
- compatibility issues
- low-level driver problems
- or even malware (scanned for when we ask for hardware diagnostics from or ).

Safely Remove Drivers:
First attempt - uninstall using Control Panel...Programs...Uninstall a program
Second attempt - uninstall using Device Manager.  Right click on the device and select "Uninstall"
Third attempt - Go into Properties of the Device (in Device Manager) and select the Driver tab.  Select the Uninstall button from there.

Fourth Attempt -
The <INSERT DRIVER NAME HERE>.sys driver is still present in the latest memory dump file.
To remove it safely, please do the following:
- ensure that you have a bootable DVD to use to get into Startup Repair
-----For Win8: The Win8 installation DVD will do.  If you don't have one, then use this procedure to create a System Repair disk:
-----For Win7: The Win7 installation DVD will do (must have a full version - not the OEM image).  If you don't have one, go to Start...All Programs...Maintenance...Create a System Repair Disc and create one from there.
- set a System Restore point (to use with thhe System Repair disk if you can't get back into Windows).

- download this free program:  Use it to disable any entries that name the <INSERT DRIVER NAME HERE>.sys driver or the program that the driver belongs to (by removing the checkmark in the far left column)
- check for any services related to this driver and/or program (use services.msc) and disable them
- check in Device Manager (use devmgmt.msc) for any devices related to this driver and/or program.  Make sure to enable the viewing of hidden devices.  Uninstall any that you find.  DO NOT rescan or reboot yet!
- search your system for the <INSERT DRIVER NAME HERE>.sys driver and rename it to <INSERT DRIVER NAME HERE>.BAD

Then reboot and see if it's removed.

AMD OverDrive Removal - Step 1:
AMD OverDrive (AODDriver2.sys) is either a stand-alone application, or a component of the AMD VISION Engine Control Center.  This driver is known to cause BSOD's on some Win7 systems.
Please uninstall all AMD/ATI video stuff from Control Panel...Programs...Uninstall a program
Then, download (but DO NOT install) a fresh copy of the ATI drivers from (in the upper right corner of the page)
Use this procedure to install the [B]DRIVER ONLY[/B]:

If the device (AODDriver or AODDriver4.01) remains a problem, open Device Manager, select the "View" item.
Then select "Show hidden devices" and scroll down to the Non-Plug and Play Drivers section.
Locate the AODDriver entry, right click on it and select "Uninstall".  Reboot for changes to take affect.
Sometimes the driver remains and continues to cause BSOD's.  If this is the case for you, post back and we'll give further instructions for safely removing it.

If overclocking, please stop. Remove the overclock and return the system to stock/standard values while we're troubleshooting. Once the system is stable again, feel free to resume the overclocking.

AMD OverDrive Removal - Step 2:
If AODDriver2.sys is still present and the software/device isn't present and the driver isn't needed - then please do this (thanks to jcgriff2):
[QUOTE]Bring up elevated Admin cmd prompt -
START | type cmd.exe | RIGHT-click on cmd.exe | "Run as Administrator" | type/ paste the following -    
[CODE]where /r c:\ /f /t AODDrive*.* > 0 & start notepad 0[/CODE]It may take a few minutes.

A Notepad will open wth the results.

[/QUOTE]Please post the results in your next post.

- create a System Restore point.
- create a System Repair disc and ensure that it works. To do this, go to Start...All Programs...Maintenance...Create a System Repair Disc
- uninstall all ATI video stuff using Control Panel...Programs...Uninstall a program (this may make the next 3 steps unnecessary - if so, just continue on).

- check in services.msc to see if there is an AOD service. If there is, set it to "Disabled" for the startup type.
- then disable any startups that name AODDriver2.sys using Autoruns (free from here: )
- rename AODDriver2.sys to AODDriver2.BAD (it's probably in C:\Windows\System32\drivers) 
----------01 June 2012 - Owner found AOD in C:\Program Files\ATI Technologies\ATI.ACE\Fuel\amd64

- reboot and see if that fixes the problem(s).  Check in C:\Windows\System32\drivers (or the other folder) to be sure that it stays renamed.
- install fresh video drivers using the procedure here:
[b][u]DO NOT[/b][/u] install the full Catalyst Control Center package!!!

Asus M4 series motherboards:
Just FYI - a recent poster (early Nov 2011) states that they were advised by Asus to manually set their memory settings/timings/voltages because of issues with the M4 series of motherboards.
You can get the settings/timings/voltages from the website of your RAM manufacturer.

Asus P5 series motherboards:
FWIW - I've seen a lot of issues with the Asus P5 series of boards. I usually recommend this:
- DO NOT use the AUTO setting for memory. Go to the RAM manufacturer's website and get the recommended settings for the RAM. Then set those settings manually in the BIOS
- one person with a 2009 BIOS has experienced success by updating the BIOS. This is dangerous and one simple mistake can easily damage your motherboard so it won't work. Be VERY, VERY CAREFUL!!!
- one person reports bad caps ( ) in this post:

As of late June 2012 - I haven't seen many issues with these boards over the last several months.

Clean Boot links:
Clean Boot - Windows 7 (for Vista, but Win7 is similar)

Clean Boot - Vista

Clean Boot - XP

Daemon Tools (Alcohol %) removal:
Daemon Tools (and Alcohol % software) are known to cause BSOD's on some Win7 systems (mostly due to the sptd.sys driver, although I have seen dtsoftbus01.sys blamed on several occasions).
Please uninstall the program, [b][u]then[/u][/b] use the following free tool to ensure that the troublesome sptd.sys driver is removed from your system (pick the 32 or 64 bit system depending on your system's configuration):

Overclocking canned speech:
Please remove any overclock and return the system to stock values in order to start troubleshooting.
An overclock stresses the system in unpredictable ways, so the troubleshooting can't determine the causes.
Overclocking can also damage components over time, so testing the system without the overclock will help to determine if there's a hardware problem.
Once we've achieved a stable system without an overclock - then we can resume the overclock using accepted overclocking practices.

Service Pack missing:
SP1 isn't installed, please do the following:
[b][u]Installing Windows 7 Service Pack 1[/u][/b]
1.  Visit the PC manufacturer's website and update [b][u]ALL[/u][/b] drivers.  [b][u]DO NOT[/u][/b] use Windows Update or the "Update drivers" function of Device Manager.
2.  Check Device Manager for any unknown/disabled devices - if there are unknown/disabled devices, fix them with the latest drivers from the device manufacturer's website (not the PC Manufacturer)
3.  Visit Windows Update and get all updates (may take repeated visits)
4.  Visit Windows Update and get Service Pack 1 (usually under Important Updates).  Read these notes for installing SP1:
[b]NOTE:[/b]  For Vista, read these notes:
[quote]Read these notes for installing [b][u]Vista SP1[/b][/u]:
Read these notes for installing [b][u]Vista SP2[/b][/u]:
5.  Visit Windows Update and get any other available updates.  May take repeated visits, but keep it up until you get several "Windows is updated" results.
If you're having difficulties with installing a Service Pack, please use the SURTool from this link:
Also, check out this troubleshooting link from Microsoft:

I have had limited success in installing updates/Service Packs when using a "clean boot".  I suspect that I'm just bypassing the problem - and that it can come back to bite me in the butt later on.

SSD Issues/Suggestions:
We've seen a number of BSOD issues with SSD's.  Here's the information that I've compiled so far:
[QUOTE]There's not a whole bunch available to test SSD's.  The "easiest" test is to remove the SSD, install a platter-based hard drive, install Windows and test for stability that way.

Here's some suggestions:
- [b]Update the SSD's firmware[/b] to the latest available version (VERY IMPORTANT!!!)
- [b]Update the motherboard controllers drivers[/b] to the latest available version from the controller manufacturer (NOT the mobo manufacturer unless you can't find any on the controller manufacturer's website)
- Slow the memory (RAM) down to the next slower speed (I've only seen one person who claimed that this worked for them).
- Use any manufacturer's utilities that you may have.  If you don't have any, then try this free one (I haven't used it myself):
- Update chipset and storage controller drivers to the latest available from the manufacturer of the device (not the manufacturer of the motherboard).  Be sure to update ALL controllers on the motherboard!
....NOTE:  Recently (Nov 2011) we had BSOD issues with the Marvell 91xx controller and an SSD.  You may have to switch controllers also.-
 Replace the SSD with a platter based hard drive and see if that stops the BSOD's.  If it does, then it's likely that there's a problem with the SSD [b][u]OR[/u][/b] an incompatibility with your system.
It's my opinion that SSD's aren't reliable enough (with current hardware) to be used on a system that needs to work reliably.  Until I see reliability I will not recommend, nor will I use, SSD's for critical applications.
06 Dec 2011 - This post tends to confirm issues with certain SSD chipsets and certain controllers -
29 May 2012 - The frequency of BSOD's with SSD's seems to have been decreasing over the last several months.  It may be approaching time to re-evaluate my stand on their suitability for use in production systems.

Wireless USB devices canned speech:
I do not recommend using wireless USB devices.  Especially in Win7 systems. 
These wireless USB devices have many issues with Win7 - and using Vista drivers with them is almost sure to cause a BSOD. 
Should you want to keep using these devices, be sure to have Win7 drivers - [B][U][COLOR=Red]DO NOT use Vista drivers!!![/COLOR][/U][/B]
An installable wireless PCI/PCIe card that's plugged into your motherboard is much more robust, reliable, and powerful.

© 2017 - John D. Carrona
Forum screen name: usasma